Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 119: And Into Rutland, VT

July 4: I hit the trail relatively early, at about 6:00 in the morning. The trail climbed up and over Killington Peak--or at least close to the summit. I skipped the short side trail to the summit itself since I had done that a couple of years earlier already anyhow.

A few miles before the trail crosses Highway 4 into Rutland, there's a trail junction. To the left is the official Appalachian Trail and Long Trail routes, but to the right is the Sherburne Pass Trail. It's a blue-blazed trail and a bit of a shortcut since it's a couple of miles shorter, but the two trails rejoin each other on the other side of the Highway 4. Years and years ago, the Sherburne Pass Trail used to be the AT/LT, but it was rerouted to its current position onto public lands and avoided some private property. The trail is still open to the public, however, so a lot of people will take it.

I'm not usually big on "blue-blazing" (as we thru-hikers call it), but I decided to make an exception in this case because I've already walked the official AT/LT route not once but twice--once for my first AT thru-hike in 2003 then for my LT hike in 2013. I'd never seen this blue-blazed route, however, and liked the idea of seeing something different. So off I walked, leaving the official AT to follow the Sherburne Pass Trail.

In my professional assessment, I think this route was the more scenic of the two. It goes through a ski area on Pico Mountain allowing peeks of good views through the ski runs. Outside of that, however, it just goes through the trees and the two trails look more-or-less the same.

When I arrived at Sherburne Pass, it seemed like there were hundreds of people milling around! Bus loads of people in army fatigues were lining up, about to run up the trail. Training exercises?

But I soon found who I was looking for--my cousin, Chris and his SO, Drew. They were in Vermont for the weekend and we had planned to meet here at approximately this time of day. I wasn't sure if they'd arrived yet, but they had, although only about five minutes before I did. It was one of the phone calls I had made from the phone in the Bromley ski hut.

They drove me into Rutland where we first stopped at the Yellow Deli Hostel so I could check in. The door was locked when we arrived, but it had a phone number to call so I called it--but it went to voicemail so I left a message then waited a bit. Eventually, about 20 minutes later, I got in and got my space at the hostel.

Then we headed out for lunch at Roots, and went to the movies to see Inside Out. It was strange at the movie theater, looking at all of the movies that were playing. They had signs for the new Terminator movie and I didn't even know that there was a new Terminator movie. I didn't even know Pixar had a new movie and had never seen so much as a single preview for it. No idea what I'd be walking into! And Jurrasic World?! They made a sequel for that too?! I didn't recognize the name of a single movie that was currently playing--except for sequels and I had no idea that any of those were in the works either. I'd really unplugged from the world while on the trail!

The Inside Out movie was wonderful, but it was time for Chris and Drew to go. They hugged me despite my smell (I still hadn't showered or cleaned up since I got off the trail!) and drove off into the wild blue yonder.

I returned to the hostel where I finally took a shower and cleaned up. Having the foresight that I might arrive in Rutland on the 4th of July (a holiday) or a Sunday, I had my maildrops sent directly to the hostel rather than the post office and thus was able to pick up my laptop. The rest of the evening I spent catching up with emails and messages.

Got some nice views from the ski runs on Pico Mountain!

Must be some sort of training program going on....

The Inn at Long Trail

While waiting for someone to arrive to open the hostel, I took this selfie with cousin Chris (L) and Drew (R).

No comments: